The Mines Orediggers are the center of the Colorado Football world right now, as they play for their first-ever National Championship in their 131-year football history.
“We try not to talk about it,” said Wheat Ridge native Michael Zeman. “Just try to focus on the task at hand. We definitely feel that buzz, especially with being able to host a national semifinal, having ESPN here on a national stage. We definitely feel that buzz but I think one of the main things we’ve been trying to focus on is just try to keep all the distractions kind of away and focus on the game and what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Their first national championship is in reach and to get Mines fans to McKinney, Texas, the Denver Broncos donated $100,000 to help with transportation costs.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Broncos Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett. “It’s absolutely fantastic what our organization has done for the students. I played Division II football, so I absolutely love the whole playoff, the whole system. Their first National Championship, scoring all the points, Coach Moore has done a great job but I’m very excited to see them go there and the students to be able to go there and support them.”
Like Hackett, Coach Brandon Moore is in his first season as the guy in charge. Moore was just named the NFF Colorado Coach of the Year. Moore took over for Head Coach Gregg Brandon, who was at the semifinal game on Saturday in Golden. Moore’s postgame celebratory meeting with his successor was special
“Reaching this part of the season, reaching the National Championship, it was an emotional moment for all of us and really really emotional for him. He was just expressing how excited he was for the program. How excited he was for what was going on. He also told me, ‘I was the first one to say that it was possible here and I was the first one to say that we were gonna do it,’ and he just kinda shared that with me and it was awesome.”
Mines will kick off at 11 am MST against number 1 Ferris State, the defending National Champions.